The Premise. Nerd alert! Did you ever want to be able to track your level of energy and have it recorded into an app and then use that data to plan your day? Probably not. But if you’ve ever nodded off or yawned at an inappropriate time, it might be helpful to get some early feedback on your advancing state of drowsiness.
The Product. An “energy monitor” for the human body, Vigo goes in your ear and extends to your eye. If you wear two at the same time you might look like Geordi La Forge from Star Trek. The Vigo measures the amount of times you blink and your head position, inputs the information into an algorithm, and then alerts you when you are getting drowsy. It can notify you in a number of ways, including an LED, vibration or a “pump up” song.
The Pitch. The Vigo video takes you through the story of its creation at UPenn by a trio of students who wanted to get a better grip on their consciousness and the campaign page goes into some interesting detail about information literally contained in the blink of an eye. The Vigo, which resembles a Bluetooth headset that’s undergone a growth spurt, looks just as awkward as the Google Glass, and you can’t even use it to watch porn.
The Perks. Vigo may not offer much of the functionality of Google Glass, but it stands to cost a lot less. After selling out an early bird special on Vigo for $59, backers can pick them up for $79, a discount from the $119 they’re expected to ship for when they’re available next May. But of course the real perk is having an awkward distraction over your temple that will break your fall once your sleeping head falls into your plate.
The Potential. Surely, there are professions where having a good handle on your level of alertness is critical — truck drivers, for one. But that job offers exactly the kind of solitary work environment where the Vigo wouldn’t be more distracting than a droopy eye or head jerk. Skip the headgear and just make sure you get an energy shot in time.